8 steps to survive being a “stayer”…

Your employer has announced layoffs and extended early retirement to a number of employees. You’re among the employees who are not leaving and, at least for now, will remain employed. We often consider the colleagues who are staying the lucky ones, yet, don’t realize that this is an emotional and challenging time for them, too. This really hit home recently as my husband’s coworkers were dealing with the restructuring at his company. Some of my friends are going through this transition in other companies as we speak.

Are you one of the ‘stayers’? Having a job is a privilege.

But, how do you manage the emotional roller coaster you’re on?

How does this situation impact your career now and in the future?

These eight steps will help you minimize your stress and successfully navigate through this unsettling and unpredictable transition.

Appreciate your peers.
Help express the value of their contributions to your team and the company. Your expression of their value may be more important than that of your team’s boss or other leaders, because you work side-by-side each day.

Work through your own emotions. You may feel guilty. You may feel deep concern for those leaving. You’re unsettled about what may happen next…what may happen to you. What’s it going to be like when your coworkers are gone?  Recognize your emotions. Give yourself space to grieve. But, don’t stay at this low point. See the “glass half full”.

Listen as those who are leaving work through their own emotions. Be empathetic. Stay away from rumors, negativity and blaming.

Influence the redistribution of work given to you. The workload has to be shouldered by the remaining team. Make the reorganization process easier on your boss by expressing your interest in responsibilities where your skills align, or where you’d like to enhance your experience.  Be honest with your leader about your bandwidth and ask about priorities to ensure expectations are understood.

Seek new opportunities that may become open to you. Some gaps now exist in key responsibilities. Leverage sponsor and ally relationships to position yourself for consideration.

Rebuild your network. Some of your allies and sponsors may now be gone. Stay in touch with these individuals to maintain connections. Reach out to form new and strengthen existing relationships with internal stakeholders over time. Don’t wait until you need something to make contact.

Be prepared for what may lie ahead. Proactively consider possible contingencies in case you are impacted at some point. However, don’t jump ship too soon. The grass is not always greener elsewhere. Things may turn out better than expected if you stay put. Weigh your options carefully.

Be ready to move on with the new environment with grace. The business is moving on around you. Decide that you’ll worry less about the things you can’t control. Maintain a positive spirit and be a catalyst toward a bright future.

And if you need help to survive being a stayer download our free guide Getting the most from your mentor.


She’s a woman on a mission, prepped and ready to help you create resilient leaders and a workplace that is poised to succeed. Having weathered her fair share of corporate and career crises of all sizes, Vivian Blade MBA, MBB, PMP, is a global leadership expert and thought leader who equips leaders with the resilience that inspires teams to recover quickly in the face of ongoing disruption and thrive in spite of insurmountable odds.

Vivian empowers leaders and organizations as a frequent keynote speaker for association conferences and in delivering transformative leadership development programs, executive coaching and consulting for corporations.

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